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From the Editor

greg_archerPlus Letters to the Editor

Change. Sometimes it’s easy. And sometimes ... well, you know how that goes. But how do you tackle change on a much grander, perhaps less “personal,” scale? That’s what locals have to look forward to this week, should they be up for the cause. It all unfolds in an outing that I find compelling. It’s dubbed “Change: Mobilizing the Historical Narrative.” It’s part of the Santa Cruz Next What’s NEXT Lecture Series (whatsnextlectures.com), which, if you haven’t already had the chance to experience, consider doing so soon. You can’t beat this innovative program designed to inspire and promote new thought, locally, and, of course, stimulate change—all by bringing engaging speakers to town. Sponsored by Monterey College of Law, this week’s titan is Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University. Some may recall Brinkley’s latest publications “The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom”or “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America.” He’s also a New York Times bestselling author (“The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast”). There’s more—much more—but Brinkley’s astonishing birth of the “American Odyssey” is inspiring—he took students on cross-country treks where they visited historic sites and met seminal figures in politics and literature. Catch the man—his words, his vibe and more—at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 in the Humanities Lecture Hall (across from Bay Tree Bookstore) at UC Santa Cruz. Read the exclusive interview with GT online at goodtimessantacruz.com.
In the meantime, if you haven’t noticed, the beginning of the year is downright inspiring thus far. Last week, Santa Cruz Next unveiled The NEXTies and, just this week, we  witnessed the Gail Rich Awards, which honored local arts champions Rose Sellery, Rick McKee, Bryn Loosley, Lori Rivera,  Bob Barbour and T. Mike Walker.
Kudos to all these unique souls for knowing just the right way to inspire, and to give back to the community.
And then, there’s always”giving” to each other, which is what every marriage ought to be about, right? Speaking of ... dive into our annual Wedding Showcase.
Onward ...


Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor

It’s Not A Chore
I take exception to the reference to “chore workers” in the Jan. 4 Town Hall column with Supervisor Ellen Pririe to describe hard-working home care workers.  The definition does not even come close to describing the work that I do as a home health care provider.
In March of 1997, my son fell from the Aptos Bridge, leaving him a quadriplegic and reliant upon a ventilator to breathe.  Since that time, my husband and I have taken full care of him, with daily "chores" that include feeding him, administering medications, inserting a catheter for bladder release four times a day, suctioning his lungs through his tracheotomy, bathing and dressing him and using a sling to place him in his wheelchair.
I believe that defining my work as "chore" is incorrect. We provide inexpensive, quality care for many of our county's seniors and disabled citizens.  Cutting our wages would only serve to hurt these patients, as many of these workers could no longer afford to work as a home care provider.
I am not a "chore" worker.  I invite the supervisor to do a 24-shift in my shoes so that she can see for herself how the acute care I provide is not a "chore."  Rather, what I provide is quality, caring care for some of the most vulnerable citizens in our county.     
Sylvia Lucas
Santa Cruz

Making Huge Shifts
The shootings in Tucson are a dramatic reminder that we are one of the world’s most violent societies. Violence governs our foreign relations, our sports and video games, and our daily diet.
Yes, our diet. Desensitization to violence begins in the home, when parents assure their naturally inquisitive, animal-loving children that chickens "give" eggs, cows "give" milk, and that pigs "give" their flesh for us to eat.  The horrific daily violence and barbaric slaughter visited on these innocent animals and subsidized by us at the checkout counter gets buried in our subconscious mind.
Once our kids have learned to live with the violence of their diet, how much of a stretch is it to while away their idle hours on video games like "Mortal Kombat," "Manhunt," or "Grand Theft Auto?"  How likely is this experience, then, to govern how they resolve a social confrontation in their neighborhood or a military one in an Afghan village?
Most of us abhor violence, but we don’t know how to prevent it.
Giving our kids an honest answer when they ask "Mommy, where do hamburgers come from?" is certainly a great start.
Preston Daniels
Santa Cruz

Chilling Tea
I found it amazing that the Tea Party congress members have slowed down their zeal to repeal health care reform, to honor their colleague Gabrielle Giffords. Mental health has always been on the bottom rung of the ladder of our health care system, especially here in California, since when then Gov. Ronald Reagan closed the mental institutions, and now the homeless centers are full of the unbalanced, who continually harass the public. It’s now apparent that Jared Laugher was showing signs of mental impairment and no one, not even the police, decided to intervene. I believe now is the time to progress, not regress, health care reform to truly honor the victims of this tragedy.
Bruce M. Gabriel
Santa Cruz

Best of The Online Comments

On The NEXTies Winners
This is really awesome and refreshing. I feel like most of the time in Santa Cruz we celebrate the crazy people downtown (keep santa cruz weird) or dirtbag meth dealers (aka half of the pro-surfers in this town) for the sake of looking “cool.” Nice to see people getting recognition that actually do something to make Santa Cruz better instead of making themselves look better.
Dan Jackson

How exciting to see Analicia and Take Back Santa Cruz get the recognition they deserve! They are leading the charge for residents of all classes and colors to band together and empower themselves. Anyone who has taken the time to learn about TBSC knows it's no vigilante group, but that it is a group of caring, concerned SC citizens who want to raise expectations for responsibility and behavior in this town. It's about joining together to be part of the solution. If you are bad-mouthing TBSC, it's likely because you are part of the problem
Mamasunshine

On ‘Teenage Dream’   
Carmen Kubas deserves a medal, not just a bunch of investors. Only in a world where we look out for all of our citizens are we really a whole society. Carmen seems to have perfectly blended her various life loves to help others who may well have fallen through the cracks of our system. What better life could you hope for than to help others while fulfilling your dreams and being successful at the same time. Thank you Carmen.
Mark W.
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I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

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